NEWS

Elections are not won just by referring to past achievements, but by proposing new policies

You often refer to major reforms in the political system and the economy if you win the elections and less often to the achievements of Simitis’s term. Why is the PASOK «vehicle» able to do now what it hasn’t been able to all these years? Elections are not won by references to achievements alone. These are now in the hands of the Greek people, giving them the strength they need to deal confidently with the challenges of the future. As an active member of the Simitis government, I had and have a precise image of our achievements in many substantial sectors. I am now candidate for prime minister precisely because I believe in the expression «PASOK vehicle.» Not as a corral or a camp; PASOK is active, it is a vehicle for renewal and recognition of the future. That is why it is in a position to continue the work of Costas Simitis’s government in all those sectors where there were results, and that is why it is in a position to propose new policies and break with the past wherever we judge it appropriate in order to achieve success. It is sometimes said about PASOK that part of it has an establishment mentality and is state-dependent. Do you feel there are sectors of PASOK that have no place in the «new age» you have proclaimed? From the very moment I assumed my political responsibilities, I let it be known to all concerned that the «new age» means advanced political thought and strategies for implementing it. When we decide not to continue with a policy, this does not mean that we dismiss cadres and officials in public life. We don’t want a state-dependent PASOK. People often resort to mechanical tactics because they think it is necessary in the prevailing climate. I am quite clear about this. On the new political horizon we all have a duty to work with enthusiasm in order to establish conditions for dialogue. Between 2004 and 2008, there is obviously no room for establishment mentalities. PASOK has a million friends and supporters who have no connection with the public sector or the State. How will you respond to the people’s demand for renewal when you often emphasize that «PASOK cannot spare anyone»? It is said that you are resorting to old party tactics and that you do not want to displease anyone during an election campaign. I insist: It is not an indication of old party tactics to make political decisions such as a general vote to elect a party president, to state one’s views on unemployment, the new state, the new relationship between citizens and politics, or to underline political responsibility for our mistakes. I insist: The expression of the opposite point of view on one or some of my political choices is not an expression of displeasure. I discuss opposing viewpoints where it is compatible with events and the need to make decisions in an effective way, to evaluate every well-founded opinion.